Saturday, January 12, 2008

In Search of a Great Facial

Many years ago, I used to go to a little salon for a facial that left me with brand new skin every time. The results were so dramatic, my mom would ask incredulously what I'd done. The facialist soon left the salon for whereabouts unknown. I don't remember the name of the salon, but I remember that her name was Irina and she was from Brooklyn. Even if Google had been around back then, I don't think I would have had much luck finding her with that info. Anyhoo, since then, I've been in search of similar results with varying degrees of success but none have come close. I've been to Ling's on E 14th Street in NYC (relaxing and thorough but no "new skin") and Oasis on Park Avenue (varying results but consistently stressful long checkout due to ditzy staff not worthy of McDonald's) and a number of other places. The routine is always the same, the facialist looks at your face and proceeds to tell you what's wrong with it (as if I didn't know, it's why I'm getting the facial), interrogates you as to what products you use (Lady, just give me the service I paid for) and ultimately tries to sell you a bunch of pricey products when you're done (Irina, where can you be?!). Yesterday, after having pulled a near all-nighter in order to turn in an assignment that was ultimately crappy, I decided to take the afternoon off and treat myself to a facial at Metamorphosis Day Spa on East 56th Street. Their waiting room is tiny and doesn't have the ambiance of the "relaxation room" at Oasis, but that's OK - I'm there for the facial and there's always a group of yapping bridesmaids-to-be disrupting the relaxation at Oasis anyway. My facial begins, I'm sleepy and want to rest while my facialist does her job. She proceeds to ask me what products I use, and I begrudgingly disclose the information. After her inspection, she proceeds to recommend their pumpkin peel which will renew my skin and make the extractions easier (ok, whatever you say). It will be another $40 (oh, it's all becoming clear to me now, but fine. Can I rest now?). She goes about her routine - slathering, massaging, cleaning - she doesn't spend much time on the extractions except on my nose, where I've asked her to go easy due to excessively sensitive skin there. She puts a mask on and leaves for a while, thank God. She eventually comes back in with a bang that startles me out of my snooze. Before the facial's over, she's asked me how I'm doing about 5 times. She let's me know that she will leave me my "prescription" at the front desk and tells me how I should use the products she's recommending. I'm not listening. When it's over, I look at my skin, it looks nice and clean. My prescription and recommended products wait for me at the checkout counter, there are 4 very expensive looking containers. I don't buy any and pay my bill. My boyfriend doesn't notice a big difference (no big deal, what does he know, anyway?) and today my skin feels a little dry again. Oh well, no lasting effects, but I guess the experience was worth the $160 I shelled out (Wasn't it?).


Regina said...

Ugh, that sux -- and ouch on the price tag! You truly do make me laugh ("Irina, where can you be?!" Priceless.) When I used to work in NYC, I had great facials at the Elizabeth Arden spa right on 54th /5th (next to Takashimaya). Mind you, this was (gulp) about a decade ago but just thought I'd throw in my two cents...wish you better luck next time. Nothing like a great facial to make one feel their best.

LMS said...

Thanks so much. I'll admit I can be a bit curmudgeonly and hard to please, but I just think one should be entitled to expect good service esp. when one is paying good money for it, and not enough people take pride in providing it. Sorry, you got me started . . . . Thanks again.